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Federal Employees News Digest : May 20, 2013
Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$39 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $39. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. May 20, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 42 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com to time, get killed in the line of duty. Regardless of their images---right or wrong, good or bad---both agencies are likely to be affected (tainted?) by the ongoing publicity surrounding what really happened to our diplomats in Libya (State) and how the revenue folks came to target certain groups for investigation (IRS). In the case of Benghazi, Democrats say the hoopla is a GOP effort to cripple former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's likely bid for the 2016 presidential nomi- nation. State Department officials (at least most at the top) say there was no effort to cover up what is now considered to have been a terrorist attack on the 12th anni- versary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. They cite the fog of war and Monday-morning quarterbacking for any confusion on the issue. And they say that the president and secretary of State used the words "terrorism" and "terrorist" shortly after the attacks. Republicans see it differently. They say it was a cover-up to shield the administra- tion from being unprepared, unwilling to admit it and unwilling to allow a quick- reaction force to come to the aid of the embattled U.S. ambassador and his aides, who were all killed. They deny it is a "stop Hillary" movement. Each side is carefully cherry-picking quotes from the media---often from the same story in the same newspaper or network---to "prove" the opposition is hyping/burying the disputed "facts." In addition, the IRS now is coming under fire from left and right for alleg- edly targeting (harassing?) conservative political groups in 2011 and 2012 to help weaken them before and during the 2012 election. The lead Page 1 story in The Washington Post on May 13 was headlined REPORT DETAILS IRS SCRUTINY. It said the agency's inspector general concluded that over the past two years "IRS offi- cials singled out for scrutiny not only groups with 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their names, but also nonprofits that criticized the government. NPR reported that the investigation seemed centered around a group of low- level workers at the IRS Cincinnati office. That same day, the Post headline read: IRS OFFICIALS IN D.C. IMPLICATED. More, no doubt, to come. This is not the first time the IRS has been accused of being used by politicians. But it is the first time in a while, and one of the first in which---at least so far---it may be that senior IRS officials acted on their own to target groups hostile to the administration. Without making light of the situations--- both of which are very, very serious---this is once again a case of one side using the connect-the-dots, and the what-did- they-know-and-when-did-they-know-it routine while the opposition plays damage control. Sorting out the truth, and finding who's to blame (if there is anything to be blamed for) won't be easy. It will be messy and extended. Both are stories, as they say in the media, that "have legs." Meaning they will go on. And on. In the process, some people at the IRS and the State Department who maybe didn't do anything more than their jobs, or who just followed orders, may get tram- pled. And now the media also has reported that the Justice Department had "seized" the telephone records of Associated Press reporters working on the Libya story. While politicians of both the Democratic and Republican persuasion love to trot out the "buck stops here" slogan when the going is smooth, when things get tough they are not above throwing some lower- level "bureaucrat" under the bus. Whether one considers the Benghazi dust-up a "cheap political cover-up" or a "cartoonish political spectacle" likely depends on whom you voted for last November rather than the actual available facts. That's life. But the way things are going, other agencies may either become embroiled in the current battle, or find themselves in the hot seat for other reasons. So this advice: Regardless of where you work and what your job is, look both ways before crossing the street. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
May 13, 2013
May 27, 2013